Hilary Whelton

Music association to form new youth choir

Director Hilary Whelton says 'time is ripe' to bring back defunct choral program

Several years removed from its last youth choir in Parksville Qualicum Beach, the Parksville & District Musical Association believes its time has come around at last.

The PDMA is inviting youths age 12 and older to sign up for its new Sing-chronicity Youth Choir program, which will begin Jan. 6 and run through April 27.

“We thought earlier this year that this was one of the ways we could ensure the future of our (senior) choir, which tends to be made up of an older age group,” said Nigel Hurford, PDMA president.

“The PDMA has a mandate to encourage and foster music, both vocal and instrumental. Young voices are the future of choirs in the area.”

Hilary Whelton, vocal director for the Bard to Broadway theatre company and for its summer youth music camps, has been hired as director for Sing-chronicity, which will introduce students to a range of musical styles from classical to modern pop.

“A partner and I had a youth choir through Bard to Broadway for a few years, but our original core group aged out and we weren’t getting enough younger people coming up,” said Whelton. “It seems the time is ripe to see it start again.”

Sing-chronicity members will meet for rehearsal each Wednesday evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the McMillan Arts Centre’s concert gallery in Parksville. A $50 fee per student to help offset PDMA’s sponsorship costs will cover rehearsals for the full spring term, said Hurford. No experience is necessary.

“There’s kind of a safety in choral music, because you’re not out there alone,” said Whelton. “It’s a good way to try out your chops. There’s a nice, collective feeling in making music together; it’s the original team sport.”

There will be public singing opportunities for the group, as well. Whelton envisions performances in seniors centres and at local community events.

“There’s no point in spending hours in a rehearsal hall if you don’t get to strut your stuff,” she said with a laugh. “Depending on how much repertoire we’re able to put together, there would be a chance at some concerts, too.”

The PDMA is a registered charitable society that oversees the Parksville Community Choir, the Oceanside Concert Band and Cantado, a smaller, a cappella group of chamber singers.

Hurford said the organization did sponsor a youth choir for younger children until a few years ago, but it was discontinued due to a combination of dwindling numbers and health problems of its director.

If the youth choir is a success this spring, said Whelton, it would resume in the fall after a summer break. But even if turnout for the coming spring session is too low to run the program, Hurford vowed PDMA would be back to try again.

“We’ve got to see how it develops,” he said. “I’m not sure if this is the right time of year to launch it; if it fails, we’ll try again when school is starting up again in August.

“Hilary and I are both committed to making this a success. Of course, we’re relying on the kids and the kids’ parents to make this work.”

To register or for more information on Sing-chronicity, contact Whelton at 250-752-0547 or wheltonc@shaw.ca

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach sells fire truck to Duncan man for $1

Vehicle will remain available for special events

Development permit issued for four-storey apartment on Dogwood Street

Proposed 63-unit building will include water conservation measures

Mark Chandler running for City of Parksville councillor

Chandler will focus on affordable housing, fiscal responsibility, economic growth and crime

New data gives insight into Parksville Qualicum Beach-area homeless community

42 without homes agree to take survey on gender, age, health, length of time in community

Parksville singer to celebrate birthday with concert

Robbie Van looking to raise money for Haven Society

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Misspelling B.C. toddler’s plane ticket leaves travel agent on the hook for $1100

Mom and toddler couldn’t get on flight from Iran to Vancouver

Tempering the B.C. cannabis legalization ‘gold rush’

Retail selling of marijuana offers potential business opportunities and pitfalls

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Most Read